R for pervasive language, including crude and sexual references.
March 20, 2009
Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Jason Segel, Andy Samberg
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No Love for ‘I Love You, Man’
By Belinda Elliott
CBN.com Senior Producer
- Real Estate agent Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin) is building a great life with his new fiancée Zooey (Rashida Jones, The Office). On the cusp of closing a huge real estate deal, he is not only about to marry the girl of his dreams, but he also has plans to buy a large piece of property where she can expand her small business.
Klaven is very excited about his upcoming wedding until he realizes that he has a problem. Without any close guy friends, he has no one to serve as his Best Man. He sets out to remedy this by trying to meet guys and befriend them. The first portion of the film is a chronicle of his journey through this series of awkward “man dates.” After several botched attempts, Klaven begins to hit it off with Sydney Fife (Jason Segel, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), an out-going, hyper, and free spirited investor who shares Klaven’s interest in a washed-up rock band.
Fife is always looking to have a good time and lives his life without regard for what anyone else thinks. Over time he is able to break through Klaven’s uptight exterior and bring out a bit of his wild side. But as their friendship develops, Fife’s spontaneous and crazy ways become a little too much for the buttoned-down real estate agent to handle. When Zooey grows tired of her soon-to-be husband’s shenanigans with Fife, Klaven is forced to choose between his new “bro” and his girl.
Though the premise for this film is a very clever idea, the movie quickly falls into nothing more than an array of vulgar sexual jokes, often with homosexual overtones. In fact, homosexuality as a lifestyle is quite openly embraced in the movie as is pre-marital sex and living together before marriage.
In addition to the perverse humor there is a plethora of bad language with a couple grotesque sight gags thrown in for good measure. What makes for a better comedy than an abundance of obscene sexual references and a projectile vomit scene?
It’s unfortunate that the filmmakers chose to go this route, because the film does contain a few clean scenes that are quite funny proving that a script doesn’t have to be crude to get laughs. Perhaps writing tasteful jokes simply takes too much forethought and creativity to be considered a viable option these days.
The film also features an eclectic cast, and they all work well together. Rudd and Segel both give excellent performances given what they have to work with. Both are quite convincing with Rudd as the somewhat socially awkward nice guy that women love and men don’t understand, and Segel as the free-spirited ladies’ man living purely in pursuit of having fun.
These two are joined by J.K. Simmons (Burn After Reading, Juno) as Klaven’s father with his wife being played by Jane Curtin (Saturday Night Live, 3rd Rock From the Sun). Both of these comedic stars could have been used better. Jones is supported by a cast of close girlfriends, most notably Jaime Pressly, playing a character very similar to her role on the TV sit-com, My Name is Earl. “The Hulk” Lou Ferrigno also shows up as one of Klaven’s high-profile clients.
It should come as no surprise that I Love You, Man is rated R for “pervasive language, including crude and sexual references.” The movie more than lives up to this rating.
Perhaps, if one looked hard enough, an inspiring message about the value of friendship could be found in this film, but it’s not worth sitting through the vulgarity to find it. Do something else with your free time.
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